I really didn’t want to go alone.
It isn’t that I couldn’t do it. Of course I can be alone. And even be happy. To be honest, I love my quiet, lonely days spread out with the freedom to think and pray and reflect uninterrupted.
But I hate to be alone in a crowd.
Hate it, I tell you. Just hate it.
Yet no matter how much I hate the pain of loneliness in a sea of warm bodies, being alone was my fate. I sucked in a breath of strength from the One I know delivers on His promises, and pressed into the morning routine. And then it dawned on me that my oldest would be my companion and I really wouldn’t be all alone. New hope lasted only a moment, however, chased away by her booming voice informing me of an unwelcomed reality.
“Mom, I’m not going with you today. They need me to cover in nursery.”
“What?” I barked. “Why?”
Her explanation made no sense. I stomped away frustrated, completely unable to fix this predicament.
Why is that always the case?
Why must we be forced to face the uncomfortable when we feel least able to handle it?
Dressed and confessed up, I put a mask of duty on my face and headed out the door, grumbling to the Lord about the plans He must have in store for me.
Lord, I really don’t want to hear what you would have to say to me today. I’d much rather weep tears alone at home. I don’t think I can stand to express a lick of emotion in such a public place, only to have no one notice. God, why do I have to be alone. here. today?
I rushed up the stairs, commitment in hand, only to find no one to receive it. Really, now, I balked! How could the tech student be absent? Didn’t he know the whole reason I was even there was to hand deliver the computer, since my husband…who should be sitting next to me…was home sick. I sank into my seat, half cocked to escape before anyone noticed. It was too late. Others made their way to the balcony. But. They. Didn’t. Notice. Me. Or did they, assuming I’d be joined by my family. They all turned away. Away from me.
I opened the bulletin, falling into rank.
Are you kidding me, God?
A sermon on loneliness, while I sit here all alone.
But before I had time to argue, worshiping voices urged me to the cross.
He Knows My Name.
I don’t really want to know about you knowing me right now. I simply want to be seen by those over there.
But you do know my name.
Yes, seriously, my friends. God not only knows me, but He saw me, too. He even saw the two women arrive late, flutter into the seats next to mine, and then shift to the other side as soon as the song ended. This was a comedy of errors with me in the center of the joke. But God will use even the outrageous situation to get our attention. See, He gets us. He gets me! He knows the secret tears stashed in my heart. He gets you, and knows your daily struggles, too. He plans to meet us in that broken place and give a message of hope found in Him and His truth.
It isn’t like God suddenly appeared on my Sunday morning, ready to teach me a new lesson about moving out from overlooked. Not at all. He’s been watching me my whole life and knows exactly how much I struggle with feeling not only lonely, but more devastatingly overlooked.
He knows how I felt rejected when I was always the third of a childhood best friend group.
He knows how you feel rejected, too.
He knows how often I feel out of joint with those who are supposed to love me unconditionally.
He knows when you feel misplaced and misunderstood, too.
He knows how my place in my community is neither here nor there, without a title that means much to many.
He knows your place, exactly.
He know how it hurts to never be noticed when an absence is ongoing.
He know it hurts to be forgotten.
He knows how often I struggle with likes and stats and mentions and tweets.
He knows your struggle for significance, too.
God get us. He knows more than our name. He knows our story. He knows our secrets. He knows our needs. He knows. He knows when we feel overlooked. Forgotten. Unnecessary. Without purpose.
God desperately wants us to move out of overlooked and into a life of significance. He wants us to dwell fully in a place of knowing whose we are found in the cross and wallpapered by His truth. It is a mindset, girlfriends of every age! Are you willing to move out from overlooked with me and into finding our significance?